Teen spat at policeduring hotel break-in 

A teenager who broke into Eaglehawk’s Victoria Hotel to steal alcohol and cash on Monday night, then assaulted police when they tried to arrest him, has been sentenced to six months’ youth detention.

Karl McDowell, 19, of Eaglehawk, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday to theft, criminal damage and assault charges.

Leading Senior Constable Dave Somerton said McDowell had been drinking and smoking marijuana at a friend’s house in Eaglehawk on Monday night when he and two co-accused decided to break into the Victoria Hotel about 11.30pm.

Leading Senior Constable Somerton said McDowell broke a window to gain access to the building then broke two doors and another window before climbing on the roof and yelling at passers-by.

He said that when police arrived McDowell violently resisted arrest, swinging his arms and kicking out.

“He screamed and spat at the officers,” he said.

“He swore at police and threatened to injure them.

“It took four officers to subdue him.”

McDowell’s lawyer Marcus Williams said his client had “significant problems with alcohol” and had little memory of the incident.

Mr Williams requested his client be placed in the youth training centre at Malmsbury rather than an adult prison.

Magistrate Richard Wright said Monday night’s incident had broken three suspended sentences.

“For one so young you have racked up quite an impressive history of offending, and it’s getting worse,” Mr Wright said.

“Part of the court’s job is to nip that offending in the bud.”

Mr Wright said he was prepared to give McDowell a better chance of rehabilitation in youth detention.

“You need to get the alcohol out of your system,” he said. “Your liver health can be severely jeopardised by this.”

On top of the six months’ detention, Mr Wright also reinstated eight months of suspended sentences, but he said there would be a “good opportunity” for early release.

McDowell’s co-accused will appear in court at a later date.

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